Darnell Mooney

Falcons, WR Darnell Mooney Agree To Deal

The Falcons have a deal in place for a new quarterback, and the team is now set to add to its receiving corps. Atlanta has agreed to a deal with Darnell Mooney, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports.

Mooney will head to Atlanta on a three-year pact, per Rapoport. The deep threat will receive $39MM on the deal, including $26MM fully guaranteed. Expectations will therefore by high for him as a starting member of the Falcons’ pass-catching corps.

This year’s receiver market did not include Mike Evans or the franchise-tagged duo of Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr. While Pittman has since signed a Colts extension, Indianapolis took him off the FA board last week via the tag. Mooney is among the players to benefit from bigger names being unavailable. He soared well off the “prove it” tier, despite back-to-back seasons with fewer than 500 receiving yards.

Tuesday’s move will reunite Mooney with former Bears GM Ryan Pace, who resides in the Falcons’ front office. Pace drafted Mooney in the 2020 fifth round, after he had clocked a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the Combine. While the Tulane alum struggled in Luke Getsy‘s offense, he was better under Matt Nagy. Mooney’s two best receiving seasons — including a 1,055-yard showing in 2021 — came during the Pace-Nagy years. Nagy’s current team, the Chiefs, pursued Mooney as well. But the Falcons, despite authorizing a monster Kirk Cousins contract, will win this derby.

Mooney, who is going into his age-26 season, will be set to join Drake London and Kyle Pitts as Atlanta pass-game pillars. The Falcons have taken some heat for their top-10 skill-position investments’ early inconsistency. While the team is betting on Cousins to stabilize its passing attack, it still viewed the WR2 role as an area to upgrade. The Falcons had Mack Hollins in place in that role last year; he finished with 251 receiving yards.

Although more proven receiving options existed on the market compared to Mooney, the Falcons will bet on upside. Mooney, who memorably dropped a Hail Mary pass that would have given Chicago a win in Cleveland last season, will be among the many UFAs to benefit from the recent cap spike. The Bears remain in search of a No. 2 wideout opposite D.J. Moore. While the team has since extended its other two regular starters from the 2020 draft (Jaylon Johnson, Cole Kmet), Mooney needed to land his money elsewhere.

FA Notes: Chiefs, Jones, Evans, Titans, Pats, Giants, Panthers, Falcons, Jags, Bucs, Rams

Buzz about the Chiefs re-signing Chris Jones surfaced last week, and while that trail has gone a bit cold, some optimism still exists the defending champions can keep their top defender off the market. Many around the league do not expect Jones to leave Kansas City, per ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler, but they do not anticipate a discount coming to pass. Jones stuck to his guns last year during a holdout that cost him more than $3MM between fines and a missed game check; that would make it rather shocking if he agreed to a team-friendly deal now.

The Chiefs reaching the $27-$28MM-per-year range should help move this close to the finish line, Fowler adds. That said, Jones could probably — given the cap spike — make a run at Aaron Donald‘s $31.7MM AAV standard and the position’s guarantee record (Quinnen Williams‘ $66MM) if he reaches free agency. The Chiefs were not willing to go near the Donald AAV neighborhood during talks last year, and it will surely take a monster offer to keep Jones from testing free agency now.

With the legal tampering period less than a week away, here is the latest free agency news:

  • The Chiefs were also among the teams interested in Mike Evans, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini, who details what would have been a big market for the veteran wide receiver. Evans opted to re-sign with the Bucs on a frontloaded deal that included $29MM fully guaranteed. The Falcons, Giants, Jaguars, Panthers, Patriots, Rams and Titans were preparing to see what it could take to lure Evans out of Tampa. High-profile FAs regularly use the Combine to gauge markets before the legal tampering period, and Evans evidently determined this Bucs deal compared favorably to what he could have collected on the market. But with Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr. franchise-tagged, Evans would have been the top WR available. That distinction may now fall to Calvin Ridley.
  • Speaking of the Bucs, they are not ruling out a reunion with Shaquil Barrett at a reduced rate, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com notes. Tampa Bay cut Barrett last week, removing an $18MM-per-year contract from their payroll. Barrett stands to generate interest as a street free agent, but the former Super Bowl standout and NFL single-season sack leader is going into an age-32 season and coming off a 4.5-sack showing in 2023.
  • Darnell Mooney may be one of the players who could benefit from Evans, Pittman and Higgins being off the market. Despite the Bears target failing to eclipse 500 receiving yards in each of the past two years, he posted a 1,000-yard season in 2021 and has been in a low-volume passing offense. Teams figure to check in on the deep threat, and ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler suggests the Chiefs and Titans as potential players. The Chiefs’ receiver woes were well documented last season, and they recently cut Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The Titans beat out the Chiefs for DeAndre Hopkins last year, but he is going into an age-32 season and signed for just one more year. Treylon Burks has also not shown much consistency yet.
  • Barring 11th-hour deals, this year’s safety market will feature Xavier McKinney and Kamren Curl. These two could do quite well without Antoine Winfield Jr. and Kyle Dugger in the mix, with ProFootballNetwork.com’s Adam Caplan noting Curl’s market could come in around $14MM per year. A line of demarcation may emerge after these NFC East starters, with Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline adding a lucrative second wave should not be expected to transpire at this position. This is how the 2023 market played out, with a gulf forming between Jessie Bates and the field. Though, multiple others (Juan Thornhill, Vonn Bell, Donovan Wilson) collected eight-figure guarantees.
  • The Rams have talked terms with Kevin Dotson‘s camp, per GM Les Snead. They expect both he and center Coleman Shelton to hit the market. Dotson delivered a big contract year and should be expected to become one of the top earners on a crowded guard market. The Rams want Shelton back as well.

WR Darnell Mooney Eyeing Bears Extension

The Bears took care of one major financial priority recently by working out an extension with trade acquisition Montez Sweat. The team also has a new deal to negotiate with cornerback Jaylon Johnson, but decisions of that nature need to be made on the offensive side of the ball as well.

Receiver Darnell Mooney is playing out the final year of his rookie contract, and he entered the 2023 campaign needing to deliver a healthy and productive season to return to his 2021 form. His 81-catch, 1,055-yard season that year showed his potential as a long-term contributor to the Bears’ passing attack, but he has been unable to replicate that success since. An ankle injury cost Mooney the final five games of the 2022 season, though he was healthy in time for the start of 2023.

The 26-year-old changed agents ahead of this campaign, one in which D.J. Moore has unsurprisingly served as the focal point of Chicago’s passing attack. The former Panther leads the Bears with 735 receiving yards, and Mooney sits third on the team (second amongst wideouts) with 307. The latter eclipsed 50 receiving yards in a game for the third time in Week 9, but an uptick in production in the second half will likely be needed to boost his free agent stock. With contract talks looming, the former fifth-rounder recently spoke about his situation.

“Everything’s up in the air,” Mooney said, via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin“Whatever happens it happens… eventually somebody is going to pay. Whether it’s here or wherever you go, somebody is going to take care of you… Extensions [are] a good thing. Obviously I would love to be here. I love Chicago. I love the fans. I love just being here. I mean, we’ve got everything in here. Facility-wise we have one of the nicest facilities ever so I would definitely love to be here but like I said you just can’t worry about it. Somebody is going to pay eventually.”

Aside from Moore and tight end Cole Kmet – who signed a four-year, $50MM extension this summer – the Bears do not have much certainty in their pass-catching corps beyond this season. Retaining Mooney would help in that regard, particularly if the Tulane product’s desire to remain in the Windy City holds true. Chicago is projected to have considerable cap space once again this offseason, though, along with a pair of projected top-five draft picks. The team could thus move in a different direction if an agreement with Mooney cannot be reached in the coming months.

Bears Unlikely To Be Active At Deadline?

Firmly in the middle of a rebuild, it would come as no surprise if the Bears elected to move on from one or more notable players in the coming days. Despite having a few options in that regard, though, it appears unlikely that will be the case.

Citing the views of an AFC scout, Adam Jahns of The Athletic details that a major move in the coming days should not be expected (subscription required). Last year, Chicago agreed to send All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith to the Ravens for a package including a second-round pick. A sizeable move of similar impact would likely only happen if the likes of cornerback Jaylon Johnson, safety Eddie Jackson or wideout Darnell Mooney were to be dealt.

That trio represents the Bears players most likely to garner attention, per Jahns. They would, of course, come at varying prices in a swap given their different age and contract statuses. Johnson’s future in the Windy City has been called into question on a number of occasions, but the 24-year-old said earlier this week that talks on an extension could heat up soon. General manager Ryan Poles has expressed a desire to keep Johnson in place beyond 2023, so a trade coming to fruition in the coming days would come as a surprise.

Jackson has a longer track record of success, but his age, along with injury- and finance-related factors would complicate a trade. The two-time Pro Bowler has been limited to just three games this season, and he last played a full campaign in 2020. Jackson is also due a non-guaranteed salary of $14.5MM in 2024, his age-30 season. He is scheduled to carry a cap hit of $18.1MM, so any acquiring team would either need to work out an extension to make his contract easier to work with in future years or make him a cap casualty after the season.

Mooney, like Johnson, is due for a second contract this offseason. The 2020 fifth-rounder appeared to cement his status as a long-term piece with a 1,000-yard campaign in his second season, but things have taken a turn since then. Mooney put up career lows in receptions, yards and touchdowns last season as the Bears struggled to find production in the passing game. That led to the acquisition of D.J. Moore, something which has in part resulted in a drop in Mooney’s playing time. The latter’s snap share sits at 70%, and he has made just 14 catches through seven games.

With over $9MM in cap space and seven 2024 draft picks at the moment, the Bears have plenty of flexibility with respect to the upcoming trade deadline. Their ability to receive more signficant draft capital in trades for Johnson and/or Mooney than the compensatory picks they would be due in the event they departed in free agency will likely factor heavily into their handling of those players. Overall, as Jahns notes, a busy few days from Poles and Co. would come as a surprise.

NFL Injury Updates: Burrow, Richardson, Barkley, Thomas

Bengals fans have been plenty frustrated with the team’s return on investment from quarterback Joe Burrow‘s record-breaking extension. Through two games, Burrow has averaged 152 yards per game while throwing two touchdowns and an interception. People were concerned about the calf injury that forced him out of practice early in training camp this summer and how it would affect him as the season began. Burrow has pointed to that injury as a big reason for some of his early struggles, according to Jay Morrison of Pro Football Network.

Morrison noted that Burrow spoke “with a level of concern” after today’s game when addressing his right calf. He claimed to have tweaked his calf in today’s loss to the Ravens. Not only did he consider it a factor today, and likely last week, but he also thought there was a chance that it could end up being a tight rope that he is forced to walk for the remainder of the season.

It’s not difficult to see that the Burrow we’ve seen so far this year has been far from what we’re used to seeing in recent years. It will be interesting to see how the Bengals move forward with the handling of Burrow’s calf. Pushing him too hard could result in an extended absence, while a short reprieve of a week or two could help him get on top of a recovery that seems to be troubling him. There’s a lot of season left to go, and the Bengals will be keeping a close eye on Burrow in the days and weeks to come.

Here are a few other updates from around the NFL:

  • Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson got off to a hot start in the second game of his NFL career, rushing for two touchdowns early in today’s divisional matchup with the Texans. Richardson had to exit the game in the first half, though, after sustaining a concussion that would hold him out for the remainder of the contest. Richardson was replaced by backup quarterback Gardner Minshew, who helped secure the team’s first win of the season. Richardson will need to go through concussion protocols in order to return to the field. This season, the protocols for return take about five days to get through, meaning Richardson absolutely has a chance to return for Week 3 if he can pass the necessary tests. If not, Minshew will continue to play in relief.
  • Giants running back Saquon Barkley was injured in the final two minutes of today’s win over the Cardinals. He was obviously kept out of the remainder of the game but was visibly upset on the sideline while surrounded by trainers. They taped Barkley’s ankle, but he continued to walk with a significant limp. According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN, an x-ray was performed after the game, while Barkley was still experiencing some swelling and discomfort. It has now been reported as a sprained ankle, according to NFL insider Jordan Schultz, meaning New York may have dodged a giant bullet, forgive the pun. While this bodes well for Barkley’s season-long prospects, the short week will not be his friend. Expect the Giants to exercise caution and, barring a miracle recovery, hold Barkley out for their Thursday night matchup against the 49ers. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Barkley will undergo an MRI tomorrow in order to determine the severity of the injury and gain an idea of just how much time he may miss.
  • Joining Richardson above, Commanders tight end Logan Thomas left the team’s win over the Broncos today with a concussion that he sustained after getting clobbered over the middle by Denver safety Kareem Jackson. Jackson was ejected for the hit. Backup tight ends John Bates and Cole Turner both got significant run in Thomas’ absence and will continue to do so if he isn’t able to return next week.
  • Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (knee), Cowboys right guard Zack Martin (ankle), and Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) all sustained injuries today that kept them out of their respective games. Reports from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Jane Slater and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tell us that none of these injuries are considered serious.

Bears WR Darnell Mooney Expected To Be Cleared For Training Camp

The Bears have made a number of changes to their receiving corps this offseason, but returnee Darnell Mooney is set to once again be a central figure in the team’s passing attack. His recovery from a season-ending ankle injury remains on a positive trajectory.

Mooney was sidelined for the final five games of the 2022 campaign, and he underwent surgery to repair ligament damage in his ankle. His success on that front had him in contention to suit up for part of the team’s offseason program, however, with the expectation that he would, at a minimum, be medically cleared in time for training camp. He confirmed that full participation in camp starting later this month should take place.

“I’m feeling good,” the 25-year-old said when asked about the status of his rehab process. “I’m ready to roll” (h/t Kaitlin Sharkey and Rick Tarsitano of WGN9).

Having Mooney at full health will be a welcomed development for the Bears, a team which badly needs to take a step forward in passing production this season. Chicago led the league in rushing yards per game in 2022 (177), but ranked last in the same metric through the air (131). The absence of Mooney, a 1,000-yard receiver in 2021, no doubt played a role in their struggles but it was clear general manager Ryan Poles needed to find upgrades at the WR position this offseason.

The Bears’ blockbuster trade involving the No. 1 pick accomplished that goal, with D.J. Moore being a non-negotiable part of the package sent by the Panthers. Moore will headline a receiver room which includes Mooney along with trade deadline acquisition Chase Claypool and fourth-round rookie Tyler Scott, among others. A Moore-Mooney tandem could help third-year quarterback Justin Fields improve significantly as a passer.

Aside from health, the 2023 campaign will be an important one for Mooney on the financial front. The former fifth-rounder is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and he changed agents ahead of the new league year. Talks on an extension or, after reaching the open market, a new Bears contract would shift in Mooney’s favor if he were to show a return to his 2021 form this season. His ability to do that should be begin in a few weeks’ time.

WR Rumors: Ravens, Chiefs, Giants, Mooney, Lockett, Chargers, Falcons

Although the Ravens gave Lamar Jackson the biggest contract in NFL history — in terms of average annual value — their top two outside investments this offseason have gone to wide receivers. Following their Odell Beckham Jr. signing, the Ravens chose Zay Flowers 22nd overall. Baltimore took calls from teams during the first round, and GM Eric DeCosta indicated teams wanted to move up. Leery of losing their chance to add a first-round-caliber wideout, the Ravens passed on offers.

We had gotten some calls from some teams behind us. It didn’t take a rocket scientist … to tell me that they were coming up for receivers,” DeCosta said during The Lounge podcast (via BaltimoreRavens.com). “We decided to stand pat at that point because we knew there was a legitimate risk that we were going to lose the guys that we coveted. The Giants being one of those teams. The Chiefs were behind us as well.”

Both teams showed interest in wideouts, with the Chiefs being connected to moving up for Jordan Addison. The Giants made an effort to trade up for a receiver — with their target believed to be Flowers — but after the Vikings chose Addison at No. 23, Big Blue moved up one spot (to No. 24) for cornerback Deonte Banks. DeCosta also expected the Chargers to pass on Flowers at No. 21, indicating the Bolts generally like “the bigger receivers, the route runners.” The biggest of this year’s first-round receiver lot, 208-pound Quentin Johnston, went to the Chargers. The Ravens have added Beckham, Flowers and Nelson Agholor to their receiver group, one previously headlined by Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay. Both holdovers are coming off season-ending foot injuries.

Here is the latest receiver news from around the NFL:

  • Darnell Mooney missed the final five games of the Bears‘ 3-14 season due to an ankle injury. The three-year starter underwent surgery, with NFL.com reporting he had sustained ligament tears. But Mooney is on track to return to football work fairly soon. The contract-year wideout has a chance to be cleared before the end of Chicago’s offseason program, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Should that benchmark not be met, Mooney will be expected to be full-go by training camp. Mooney totaled 1,055 receiving yards in 2021 and will be expected to join D.J. Moore as Justin Fields‘ top targets this season, one that will potentially set him up for a lucrative extension or free agency accord.
  • The Chargers did not retain DeAndre Carter this offseason; the veteran returner/auxiliary wideout signed with the Raiders. They are expecting the other TCU wideout they drafted — fourth-rounder Derius Davis — to pick up the slack in the return game, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com notes. Davis posted the second-fastest wide receiver 40-yard dash time (4.36 seconds) at the Combine and tallied six return touchdowns (five on punts) with the Horned Frogs from 2018-22. While Brandon Staley is not limiting the 5-foot-8 rookie to return duty, the Bolts did draft Johnston and are also still rostering Josh Palmer and Jalen Guyton as Keenan AllenMike Williams backups.
  • The Seahawks created some cap space recently by restructuring Tyler Lockett‘s contract. By converting $8.5MM of Lockett’s base salary into a signing bonus, the Seahawks created $5.7MM in space (per ESPN’s Field Yates). As Lockett’s 2023 cap hit drops to $11MM, his 2024 and ’25 numbers balloon to $26.7MM apiece. Lockett is tied to his third Seahawks contract, a four-year, $69MM deal agreed to in April 2021.
  • Former Eagles second-round pick JJ Arcega-Whiteside received a tryout opportunity at the Falcons‘ recent rookie minicamp, according to Fox Sports’ Greg Auman (on Twitter). Arcega-Whiteside has been unable to establish himself as a pro, being tried at tight end and then traded to the Seahawks before last season. The Seahawks cut the Stanford product in November. He remains unsigned.

NFC North Rumors: Bears, Bradbury, Lions

The Bears made waves recently when they announced the addition of Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren as the new president and CEO in Chicago. The addition resulted in a number of questions about Warren’s responsibilities and how they will compare to those of general manager Ryan Poles. While Poles will report to Warren in the grand scheme of things, the Bears will leave the football aspect of the team to Poles, allowing Warren to focus on business, according to Adam Jahns of The Athletic.

This is similar to Warren’s past roles in the NFL, specifically his time in Minnesota as chief operating officer. Warren worked hand-in-hand with former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman for several years before Warren moved on to the Big Ten. Spielman told Jahns that he operated with Warren in a similar manner to how the Bears plan to operate, with Spielman focused on football and Warren on business. The only difference in Chicago is that, while Spielman and Warren both reported to Vikings’ ownership, Poles is now reporting directly to Warren.

Here are a few other rumors from around the NFC North concerning some likely offseason transactions:

  • Vikings center Garrett Bradbury struggled as a first-round selection up until this season. In his first three years of NFL football, Bradbury’s best season in 2020 saw him rank 25th out of 36 graded centers, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). The other two years saw Bradbury rank 28th in 2019 and 29th in 2021, leading to Minnesota declining his fifth-year option heading into this season. After a hot start to the season that considerably raised his stock as a pending free agent, Bradbury iterated that he loved his team and preferred to stay in Minnesota. Three and a half months later and Bradbury finished off his hot season for a career year that saw him rank 11th out of 38 graded centers. With free agency on the horizon, Bradbury was asked again and, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, he reiterated his desires to re-sign with the team that drafted him.
  • Unlike Bradbury, Lions guard Jonah Jackson is fully locked into his starting position at left guard heading into his contract year. If he has his way, though, the 25-year-old won’t even sniff free agency. Jackson told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press that he is fully open to remaining with the Lions long-term. “I would retire in Detroit,” Jackson said. “I would love to be a Lion forever. I love the city.” Jackson isn’t expected to earn a top guard contract but still may fetch a significant deal worth $13-15MM. He made sure to clarify that if it doesn’t happen, he doesn’t intend to hold out. “If it doesn’t (happen), I’m the same guy, the same 73 who showed up for work every day from COVID Year 1 to now…If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
  • Another player who is getting ahead of free agency, Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney signed with a new agency in advance of potential contract extension negotiations, according to the official Twitter account of Athletes First sports agency. Mooney came back down to reality this year after a stellar 2021 season, partially due to injuries that kept him out of the final five games of the season. Mooney still has the ability to be a 1,000-yard receiver like he was a year ago and should benefit from another year of experience and improvement for quarterback Justin Fields. Taking action with his representation could indicate that Mooney is ready to start working towards a long-term extension before a contract year next season.

Bears Place S Eddie Jackson, WR Darnell Mooney On IR

Having already traded away two accomplished veterans on defense before the deadline, the Bears will go the rest of the way without their other defensive Pro Bowler.

The foot injury Eddie Jackson suffered against the Jets in Week 12 led the team to move him to IR, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets the veteran safety is expected to miss the rest of the season. It is a Lisfranc injury, according to Rapoport and NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). The Bears also moved Darnell Mooney to IR. The third-year wide receiver had already been ruled out for the season’s remainder.

A fourth-round pick in 2017, Jackson is the longest-tenured Bears defensive starter. After the trade of Roquan Smith, he holds that distinction by a considerable margin. Jackson, whom the Bears extended immediately once be became eligible for a deal in January 2020, has lined up as a starter in all 88 games he has played — dating back to Week 1 of his rookie year. This will be the former Pro Bowler’s longest absence as a pro.

After giving Jackson his worst grade as a pro in 2021, Pro Football Focus viewed this as a bounce-back season. Jackson’s four interceptions lead the Bears — he is the only defender still with the team to have picked off more than one pass this season — and represent his highest INT total since his 2018 All-Pro campaign. Jackson has also forced two fumbles and registered 80 tackles.

The Bears already faced the Jets shorthanded in the secondary, with rookie starters Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon missing what turned out to be another Mike White showcase event. Chicago, which traded Robert Quinn days before unloading Smith, has allowed at least 27 points in each of its past five games. Jackson’s absence will certainly make matters more difficult for a team barreling toward a top-five draft choice in 2023. The Bears have not picked in the top five since trading up for Mitch Trubisky in 2017.

Jackson’s four-year, $58.6MM extension calls for a nonguaranteed $13MM base salary in 2023. While the Bears stripped away every other piece from their Vic Fangio– and Chuck Pagano-era defenses this year, Adam Jahns of The Athletic notes all signs point to Jackson sticking around next season (subscription required). Jackson will turn 29 next week.

Bears WR Darnell Mooney Out For Season

NOVEMBER 28: Head coach Matt Eberflus confirmed yesterday’s suspicions when speaking to the media, stating that Mooney’s season is indeed over. He will be placed on IR and is “likely” to have surgery on his ankle, Eberflus added.

NOVEMBER 27: The Bears were without their leading receiver by the end of today’s game, which could very well be his last appearance in 2022. Chicago fears Darnell Mooney suffered a season-ending ankle injury, as noted by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter link).

During the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Jets, Mooney exited the contest and did not return. Pelissero notes that further testing will be done tomorrow to gather more information, but the worst-case scenario appears to be in play at this point. The loss of Mooney could be crippling given his importance to the Bears’ offense, and the team’s limited passing game.

Mooney entered the league with little fanfare as a fifth-round pick, but he showed considerable promise as a rookie in 2020 with 631 yards and three touchdowns. He took a sizeable step forward last year, notching 81 receptions, 1,055 yards and four scores. The free agent departure of Allen Robinson left the Tulane product as Chicago’s undisputed No. 1 pass-catcher, and he operated as such with a team-leading 493 yards while the Bears remained committed to a ground-heavy offense.

Assuming the 25-year-old is sidelined for the rest of the season, Chicago will likely turn even more to a committee approach in the passing game. Tight end Cole Kmet and running back David Montgomery rank second and third, respectively, in receiving yards this season. On the perimeter, N’Keal Harry – whom the Patriots traded to the Bears this summer – and Chase Claypool – acquired from the Steelers at the trade deadline – could take on larger roles moving forward, with the likes of Equanimeous St. Brown, Byron Pringle and rookie Velus Jones Jr. also being involved.

In other injury news, the Bears saw safety Eddie Jackson carted off the field today. He suffered a non-contact foot injury, one which likewise threatens to leave the rebuilding team without a key contributor for an extended time period. Especially if the Bears continue to operate without emerging quarterback Justin Fields, the remainder of the 2022 season will be one marked by injuries hampering any attempts at an offensive turnaround in particular.